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Mumbai: Not withstanding school education minister Rajendra Darda’s commitment, the much-publicised proposal to regulate fees may not come into effect in the ensuing academic session owing to procedural wrangles. The draft bill, approved by the special cabinet meeting on Monday, is likely to be introduced by Darda on Tuesday. But there is uncertainty over its approval in both houses because of time constraints : the on-going budget session will conclude on April 21.
"The bill may not be passed now. We don’t think it will be debated before the monsoon session. Once it is passed, it will be sent to the governor for approval, following which, it will be submitted to Rashtrapati Bhavan for presidential assent," said a senior education department official.
"In such circumstances, we don’t think the bill will become law by the time the 2011-12 academic session starts." Significantly, even as Darda appeared determined to take on the educational institutions, a section of senior cabinet members and legislators was in strong opposition to the fee regulation proposal. "Still, we will ensure that the law comes into force. We are committed to protecting the interests of students," the minister said. Soon after taking over the reins of the school education department, Darda declared that regulating school fees was his priority. Two months ago, he put up the draft of the proposed legislation on the department’s website. "We received well over 550 suggestions. We scrutinised every one of them and incorporated most in our proposal. Though it is based on a Tamil Nadu law, ours will be a landmark piece of legislation since we have involved parent-teacher associations in drafting our bill."
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